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North Herts play areas get a breath of fresh air

7 March 2012

The launch of a new scheme to encourage people to keep children’s play areas smoke free in North Herts took place earlier today (7 March) in King George V Playing Fields in Old Hale Way, Hitchin.

Councillor Bernard Lovewell, North Herts District Council’s (NHDC) Tobacco Control Champion and portfolio holder for Housing and Environmental Health, attended the event along with children and staff from Strathmore Nursery. The scheme to launch the District’s first smoke free play areas will see “No Smoking” signs being put up in all 51 of NHDC  owned play areas with the aim of protecting children from second hand smoke, reducing the litter caused by smoking and helping to prevent young people from starting smoking in the first place. The signs also include the contact details of Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service where people can get free support on quitting smoking. Helping smokers to quit will also reduce the number of children and young people who start smoking.

The new no smoking measures are being introduced following a recent East of England YouGov survey. In the survey, 76% of respondents agreed with the statement: “Smoking should be banned in outside children’s play areas.” NHDC will be following in the footsteps of Australia and the state of California who introduced similar schemes a few years ago.

Cllr Lovewell said: “Extending smoke free environments to include children’s outside play areas is one of a number of measures we are taking to help reduce the number of people who smoke in North Herts.

“Children learn behaviour from adults so by reducing their exposure to smoking and adult smokers as role models we will be able to protect our children’s health and let them play outside in a healthy smoke free environment.”

For free support on quitting smoking get in touch with the Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service by:

Tel: 01707 369550
Booking Line: 0800 389 3 998
Text "Quit": 07800 001 337 (and they will call you back)
Or Email: hertfordshire.stopsmokingservice@nhs.net